Dissecting the role of micro-RNAs as a diagnostic marker for polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Aberrant expression of various micro-RNAs plays an important role in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) pathogenesis. Micro-RNA 29a-5p holds potential diagnostic value for PCOS. These findings may offer new insights for PCOS pathogenesis research.

Volume 113, Issue 3, Pages 661–669.e2


Ritu Deswal, M.Sc., Amita Suneja Dang, Ph.D.



To investigate the clinical diagnostic value and role of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


Systematic review and meta-analysis.


Not applicable.


Patients were women of reproductive age with PCOS and controls.


Summary odds ratio was calculated using a random effects model.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Association of micro-RNAs with PCOS.


An electronic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases to identify all relevant studies up to May 2019. A random effects model was used to conduct a meta-analysis. Fold change and P values were used to pool effect size. A funnel plot was used to assess publication bias. Quality score was calculated using the QUADAS scale. Subgroup analysis was based on tissue type. Odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and P values were estimated using meta-analysis. Metaregression was performed for correlating covariates with effect size. Area under the curve and receiver operating characteristic analysis was done to assess diagnostic performance accuracy of miRNAs in PCOS.


Twenty-one studies with a total of 79 miRNAs were included initially. Only three miRNAs (miR-29a-5p, miR-320, miR-93) are reported in more than three studies as of December 2018, so 12 studies were finally included in the quantitative analysis of meta-analysis and 21 studies were involved in the systematic review. The micro-RNAs miR-29a-5p and miR-320 were found to be significantly associated with PCOS. Funnel plot revealed an absence of publication bias for miR-29a-5p and miR-320. Receiver operating characteristic analysis with an area under the curve value of 0.95 proved miR-29a-5p to be the better diagnostic marker of PCOS.


Aberrant expression of various miRNAs plays an important role in PCOS pathogenesis. Micro-RNAs hold potential diagnostic value for PCOS. These findings may offer new insights for PCOS pathogenesis research.

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